Alright, first chapter! It's an edited version, but the thing changed was the beginning and the fact that it's now first-person. Enjoy
I was never meant to be a girl.
Well, ok, maybe I was- but my dad sure wished I was a boy before I was born. You see, he had all these expectations for me- I would become the lead Varsity Football player, winning the trophy for state. I would do what every little boy does- fish, chase birds and frogs, and be an all-around daddy's boy. My mother, Anna, always laughed at his ramblings on the future. "What happens if it's a girl?" she'd asked. He'd reply, seriously, "I'd still love her."
They didn't talk much about how I'd be raised. You see, though my mom was American, my Dad was Japanese. He came to America to improve his English and get a masters in engineering- my mother, at the time, was studying to go into accounting. They shared a few classes together, and became regular study-buddies. By the time they actually gotten out of college, they were engaged. Dad stayed in America with my mom, and they've been together ever since. But it raised one question- how would the child be raised? Would he/she be raised with more of a Japanese heritage, or American? It was one my parents uncomfortably avoided, and they figured they deal with it when the time came.
And sure enough, it did. A year and a half after their marriage, while the peach trees were in full bloom, they rushed to the hospital so I could be born. But I didn't come easy. Anna had been in labor for two hours, and my father Kiyoshi was pacing outside the room in a nervous fit. He had attempted to be in the room with my mom at first, but after she nearly beheaded him with a randomly thrown object from a nearby table, he had fled. He attacked every nurse that exited, demanding news- the nurse politely detached themselves and then scuttled off.
Finally, he heard the cry of a baby- me, to be precise. Then, two minutes later, a nurse ushered him in. There was another one there, holding a pink blanket. "Congratulations, it's a girl." She said, smiling, and then handed me to my father.
"Why does he get her first?" My mother said crossly, and laughing father handed me to her. A few sappy sentences that I don't really want to repeat were exchanged, and then they finally got around to naming me.
"Something cute." Anna announced. "I don't want my beautiful daughter to have an ugly name."
"Anything we name her will be cute." Kiyoshi assured his still hormonal- and somewhat dangerous- wife. "What about Momo? It means peach."
My mother gazed out the window of the hospital room, where, no surprise, a peach tree was visible. "It's perfect." She murmured, nuzzling me. "My little peach Momo."
And that's all I really know of that story; Mom always told me that story, but left off right after the naming. Apparently nothing exciting happened afterwards. She does complain about my constant badgering when I was little- why I had to learn two languages(which wasn't very often), why I couldn't see my relatives in Japan(which was more often), and why I looked different from the other kids(which was asked constantly). For the first, my mother said it was good for me, for the second it was 'we'll go
when you're older', and for the last she'd stop whatever she was doing and crouch down to my level, suddenly serious.
"You are you, Momo," She'd say. "The other girls are jealous- they envy your pretty black hair, your chocolate eyes, and petite figure. Don't ever let them make you think you aren't pretty, because in all truth and honesty, you are beautiful."
I didn't understand her words as a child, but they comforted me. As I got older, I realized what they meant, and I sheltered them, so that whenever someone teased me on my looks I'd just remember them and smile sweetly and say, "I know. Don't you wish you had them too?" and then leave the scene as fast as I could, not leaving time for a rebuttal.
In order to combat the isolation, I became known by everyone- I started cheerleading, joined several school clubs, and spoke to everyone in my class. I stayed on the teachers good sides, improved my social skills with the opposite sex, and volunteered more than anyone else for things around the school. Soon, people talked bad about me less, and I gained more friends, even if they were only materialistic.
But by the time I was sixteen, I had grown tired of the fake smiles, the whispers behind my back, and all of the pressure that comes with extra responsibility. And so, I begged my parents to go to Japan for schooling- I could get more in touch with my Japanese side, and start over with the whole 'why are you different?' situation.
My father approved of it from the start. Though his duty lay within the States, he still loved Japan and wished to go back. My mom was hesitant- she would have to survive over half of the year without her baby girl, and since I was an only child, she was even more protective. Finally, after repeatedly promising to write and talk to her every week, and after reminding her that A) my dad grew up there, B) I could speak Japanese fluently, and C) it would help me to be more independent, she finally gave in and we made arrangements for me to transfer over there. My father called up his sister, Mitsuki- she happily agreed to let me stay there. She and her husband talked with my father for weeks, settling all of the expenses, living conditions, and other things that needed discussing. I prepared as well- after studying the fashions of Japanese girls my age, practicing my Japanese(only then was I actually happy my parents had made me learn it), and packing and re-packing the things I needed, I was finally ready.
The day I left was two months after my sixteenth birthday. As my father hauled my suitcases into the back of his truck, I was in my room memorizing it one last time. From downstairs, my mom was yelling at me. "Momo! Hurry up, we're already running late!"
"Coming mom!" I shouted back, and after taking one last look at my pink-and-yellow room I dashed downstairs. My mom was hovering near the door, waiting till I was successfully out before making sure I hadn't left anything. After I hopped into the back seat of the truck, and waiting impatiently for my parents to get it, I sighed in relief when we started toward the airport.
"I've talked to your Aunt already; she's going to be waiting for you at the Tokyo airport." My dad said. "Have you got your itinerary?"
I nodded, flourishing the piece of paper. "I do."
"You're always so dependable."
"Daa-ad." I groaned, and he flashed me a grin. I couldn't help but smile back- but it soon faded when my mom began rattling off the rules. Be home before sunset, make sure to listen to Aunt Mitsuki, don't talk to strangers(which I found funny, since I would be surrounded by people I didn't know, going to a different country and all), etc, etc. I only half-listened, daydreaming of what would happen when I got there. Sure, I had school, but come on- how many chances would I get to escape my parents for practically a WHOLE YEAR?
"Momo? Are you listening?" Mother said.
"Good. You know what to do, right?"
"I just don't want you to get hurt."
"Alright, just making sure-"
"Anna, leave Momo alone. She'll be fine." Dad said, and mom sighed. "I know. But she's just so…innocent." She said.
I looked at her, annoyed. "I can hear you, you know. If you want to talk about me, make sure I can't hear it."
My mom sighed, and I rolled my eyes. Looking out the window, I watched as my familiar childhood home disappeared. Though I did feel sad, a surge of excitement dwarfed it- soon, I would be halfway around the world. Soon, I would find out where I belonged.
Liked it? ;) If so, please review! And continue reading, of course. :D